BOONE, Iowa — Midland Power Cooperative was ready when Wednesday’s storm hit. They had stocked up on wooden poles and called in extra power crews before the storm.
“There were a lot of poles down, tree damage, and then following Wednesday night was really challenging. You’re in the dark, the winds are still there, trying to figure out what’s going. Just getting an assessment of the damage was a big challenge initially,” said Bill McKim, CEO of Midland Power. “We’re working really hard, we go about 16 hours and then try to get them eight hours off, all safety is a huge concern for us.”
McKim cautioned not to step on any power lines, as they could be live. As of Friday morning, there were 1,300 co-op members without power. He is hoping to maybe get everyone’s power back by late Sunday. There is a possibility they could get all the distribution lines repaired, but their supplier’s lines are still down. They may not be back to full strength when it comes to power supply.
For those without power, some plans must change. At Hidden Acres Christian Center near Dayton, a weekend retreat for 300 people had to be canceled. Hidden Acres had no power or hot water.
“It’s tough to call the group that we love to see every year and say we can’t take care of you like we would want to,” said Ryan Graden, assistant manager of Hidden Acres. “We have no power, we have no heat, there’s no hot water, so it’s sad, and it hurts the most knowing that these people look forward to it for a while.”
Hidden Acres was able to produce curbside meals to go they started during the pandemic, working in the dark, but using a back up generator to heat the food.